Davy Condon: The Job Is Right to claim National glory for Michael Hourigan
We're spoilt for choice today with great meetings in Fairyhouse and Cork but at 5.0, all eyes will be on the Meath venue for the Grand National.
It's a great race to ride in and I have a spin on The Crafty Butcher for Michael Hourigan. The first thing you need in a race like this is a bit of luck. So much can go against you, but if you get the rub of the green you have a chance.
My lad is a good sort. He stays, which is very important, but I'd have a slight concern about the ground. I expect it to be a little bit sticky, and he'd like it a little better than that. That's not to say he won't be in the shake-up on the gallop home but things aren't ideal for him.
Looking around the card, the one that jumps off the page is Perfect Gentleman. Ruby Walsh is very sweet on him and he can't be discounted.
Michael has another very good horse in the race with The Job Is Right and he seems to have everything in his locker to win this. The mount of Mark Enright ran very well at Cheltenham when he was third behind Cause of Causes and he could be the one we are all trailing in behind.
I have another spin in the opening race on Chatham House Rule for Gordon Elliott. He's a nice sort and we get on well and we've won twice together already. He likes to go from the front, as does the filly Scooping. I expect Noel Meade's Lettre De Cachet to be in the shake up too and those two fillies are getting a nice bit of weight from us so I'll go with Scooping to win a tight one.
The Grade Two Hurdle at 3.20 looks like one for Noble Endeavor. He was just touched off in the Conditional race in Cheltenham and he could go very close.
The Novice Hurdle at 3.55 could be one for Blair Perrone. He was very good in Gowran last month and looks to be in form so he'll take a lot of beating.
At 4.25, I think we'll see AP McCoy in the winner's enclosure with Flaming Dawn for Edward O'Grady. He has run well here before and he likes soft ground so it's working out nicely for him.
The race immediately after the Grand National has my nap for the day with Vroum Vroum Mag for Willie Mullins. She has won on her last four starts and looks to be a cut above anything in the field here.
Mallards In Flight could be in line for a quick double in the 6.05. She won in Clonmel on Thursday and gets a penalty for that but still looks well in with the weight she has.
The last race of the day could see a win for Ice Cold Soul. He has won two bumpers already and could make it three wins here.
Down in Cork there are a couple of interesting runners. I see Joseph O'Brien is riding Aetna for Michael Easterby and you'd think they weren't just coming over for the spin in the Listed flat race.
Another one to keep an eye on is Noble Prince in the Hunters Chase at 5.15. He showed he was a good sort when winning two point-to-points at the start of the year, and he can rediscover that form for Paul Nolan.
3.20 Noble Endeavor
3.55 Flaming Dawn
4.25 Blair Perrone
5.0 The Job Is Right
5.35 Vroum Vroum Mag
6.05 Mallards In Flight
6.35 Ice Cold Soul
5.15 Noble Prince